Friday, September 29, 2006

GodDAMN, some conservative women are stupid...

I hate to attack other women, but when I see something that's as persistent-vegetative-stately as this, I have to take issue.

In response to the liberal "5 things feminism has done for me" meme that's going around in support of Status of Women, the wingnuts have gamely responded with their own negative meme. I was surfing through some of the responses posted on a popular wingnut blog ("tiny deceased mammals" or "prolapsed catheter" -- ooh, that happened to me when I had my hysterectomy and it's as horrible a sensation as I've ever stood still for -- something like that). I saw the usual mindblowing stupidity, ignorance and vitriol, but I wasn't prepared for this response from "Mary":

"Before the feminist movement, men and young boys treated all women with respect. They never swore or used foul language in their presence, and any that did were soon reprimanded by other males in the crowd. They did not tell sexist jokes in front of women, hit women, and so many other things that they did in front of men, in male settings. Women wanted to be treated like men. They also wanted to act like men and started to discuss sexual partners, swear, use the F word, and other male locker room talk. so men started treating them like men. Lepine was a perfect example."

Get your brain around that: "Mary" thinks that mass-murderer Marc Lepine is a perfect example of a man treating a woman as an equal, and that feminism is responsible for his crime. Blame the victim much? That is so disgusting on so many levels it's hard to know where to start, so let's just call it reprehensibly stupid, insensitive and sick. That little tidbit was the cream of the crock, and not to give her diatribe more attention than it warrants, but one of her other points was so outrageously idiotic that I have to address it.

Men never hit women before feminism? So all those nights during the 50's when I was a little kid cowering in my room listening to my father beat up my mother... all a dream? In fact, feminism is one of the reasons abusive men think twice about hitting their partners, because women now have the choice to get the fuck out of such relationships. Thanks to feminism. There are shelters and there's also divorce, not an option many women would have chosen before feminism because of the economic impact. Thanks to feminism, alimony and child support settlements are enforced, and women don't have to put up with what my mother endured for fear of being destitute. (Even if she'd left, without a restraining order -- which an abused woman can now get, thanks to feminism -- my father would have hunted her down and killed her. Or so he said.)

Ironically, I don't really think of myself as a "feminist"; 'secular humanist" would probably be closer. But I'm well aware of what feminism has done for me and all women, and I'd never trivialize its accomplishments. Conservative women who criticize feminism because of minutae like it's made men afraid to open doors for them, well tough shit. Because the only ones afraid of making a polite gesture are the ones who, deep down, really do feel it's an expression of superiority.